Please hack my blood test results: high potassium and high cholesterol

by (15380) Updated March 14, 2013 at 6:16 AM Created March 11, 2013 at 7:14 PM

My doctor and I had a disagreement (again). But that's okay. I kind of trust Paleohackers more. I will put a bounty on this question, I just don't know how. I think I have to wait before awarding best answer or something like that.

Anyway, I got my blood work back. Everything is beautiful. In fact, he told me he did not see bloodwork like this in a long time so Paleo diet works, people!!! Oh and my liver is like perfect.

However, there are two things we disagree about:

  1. My cholesterol is high. He is worried about it, I am not. I told him that because my triglycerides are so low, I have nothing to worry about. He told me it is an alarm bell.

Here are the numbers if you are interested:

My reading................./Norm

LDL 6.22.................3.80

HDL 2.9 .................1.1 - 2.3

Total 9.40 ................ 5.20

Triglycerides 0.58 ...........1.70

  1. My potassium is really high. He thinks it is a mistake because (according to him) if it was that high I would not be able to walk around and would be in the hospital by now. I think it is not a mistake - I am very fatigued.

So, I will do whatever he wants me for my cholesterol, but I want something to be done about my high potassium levels (and he does not think I should do anything).


I have checked out more than 20 different websites and they ALL say completely the opposite (as usual).

THANKS IN ADVANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


meat (grass-fed beef)

fish (salmon)


cheese (I gave it up two days ago)

pecans (I gave those up after the blood test)

egg yolks (I gave those up too)




For those who are reading this - the reason why my cholesterol was so high because I ate tons of egg yolks. I don't even want to tell you the number - you will get scared. So I am not worried because I felt good after eating them. As for my potassium being low, it stems from (I think) dehydration and diet related issues I went through many years ago, long before I started Paleo. I never felt the same since. My overall good blood test results is a proof that Paleo diet is good for you.

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39204 · March 11, 2013 at 8:33 PM

First off, your total cholesterol of 363 was about where mine was (393) after eating tons of butter and cream. For whatever genetic reason, that particular ratio of myristic, lauric and palmitic acids spikes my cholesterol to the moon. When I cut it out, it went down into the low 200s.

Assuming that you didn't omit a ton of butter/cream consumption and assuming this result is much higher than another recent test (meaning you don't have actual familial hypercholesterolemia), the greatest likelihood is that you are a dietary cholesterol hyperresponder. It would likely take quite a few eggs to produce that result...how many were you eating?

There's no way that pecans would have anything other than a lowering effect on cholesterol, btw.

Oh, and regarding the hyperkalemia/fatigue, it sounds a bit like low-sodium induced hypotension. What was your blood pressure? How much salt do you eat? Have you tried eating more?

309 · March 12, 2013 at 10:27 AM

I am going to focus on the cholesterol part of your question. You say that:

"My cholesterol is high. He is worried about it, I am not. I told him that because my triglycerides are so low, I have nothing to worry about. He told me it is an alarm bell."

Unfortunately you are wrong here and your doctor is right. Low triglycerides are not a "get out of jail free card" for having very high LDL (in your case 242). The truth is that nobody yet knows what the meaning of very high LDL is for people on paleo/low carb diets and until the time that is settled (no where and sight), prudence would dictate that you take the "alarm bell" concept seriously, especially since LDL can continue to increase into the stratosphere as others here have reported.

As far as what to do, see my comment above on dietary changes and add to that the possibility of increasing your carb levels since research shows that low carb is sometimes interpreted by the body as starvation and a signal to ramp up LDL.

You must realize that you are on a very extreme diet with "tons of egg yolks", etc etc. The fact that you feel "good" is not necessarily confirmation that all is well as people are capable of feeling good with lots of conditions (high blood pressure comes to mind). I am not sure why you are even going to a doctor since you are disagreeing with his advice whatever it is. Having otherwise normal bloodwork is pretty meaningless since its not at all uncommon (not sure about the "beautiful" notion).

1659 · March 11, 2013 at 7:37 PM

Re-test. In the meantime, flush your electrolytes (drink LOTS of water, take diuretics if you must) while supplementing with everything but potassium (mostly sodium, other stuff is less urgent).

...and stop eating fifty bananas a day :-/

UPDATE: Do re-test. If you actually have very high K (but normal Na), your Na/K balance is out of whack and that's most likely because your body's systems (specifically kidneys) made it this way -- NOT a result of imbalance in your food. Your diet looks a bit limited to me, but there doesn't seem to be anything which would force very high levels of potassium. You are eating VLC, right?

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